Its a shame I am not in Malaysia to witness Bersih 4.0 unfold. Nevertheless, as I type out these words, I have my facebook on to follow their progress. The facebook profiles of friends back in Malaysia seems to be filled with all things yellow. At the moment, a few reports estimates about 60K people have filled KL city center. I have very little experience and knowledge on prepping for a citizen ‘march’ such as Bersih 4.0. Like all things in life, there is always something to learn here that we can put into our prepping practice. I found a few interesting posts on facebook on do’s and don’ts for Bersih 4.0. I thought it would be useful to write about them for future reference.
I was in Malaysia when the previous Bersih march took place. Things really did get out of hand back then. There was tear gas, water cannons, harsh physical handling by the authorities and many more reports. It is only natural that the current event organizers and supporters got smarter and now advises the public on the do’s and don’ts this time around.
Here are some I found posted on Facebook that I think are really useful:
Glasses…not contact lenses (see here)
I wear glasses most of the time but I do have disposable contact lense as spare in my store room. The writer advises people to wear glasses to avoid getting eye infection as a result of tear gas getting into their contact lenses. I suppose this is very true. I can imagine myself rubbing my eyes down if I got hit by tear gas. Sound advise this is.
The only thing I would like to add to this is that if you are going to wear glasses to an event and is anticipating tear gas, I would advise you to bring yet another set of spare glasses in a hard case inside your go bag (what is a go bag? You’d have to ask Mr Google that for now). If there is tear gas thrown into a crowd, chances are people are going to run helter-skelter and that may result in you loosing your glasses. What then?
Here is another link to another site that shares things you need to know about the rally. Comprehensive and packed with information that is really helpful. One thing I notice is that people are advised to limit what they bring to the rally. In an event such as this, there is bound to be ‘folks’ that will want to take advantage of peace loving Malaysians. This would include pick pockets and general thugs. Staying and moving in group is crucial to ensure ones safety. Somethings recommended to bring along are:
- Enough drinking water to stay dehydrated.
- Medications (if you taking any)
- Spare batteries for your phones/ electronics
- Spare clothes
- Minimal cash & identification
- Tents/ chairs etc for those overnighting in the streets ( I seriously doubt if this is going to happen….but one can never say)
Get a reliable and secure pack…If I had to carry the above items on a hot day in a rally, I would want to carry them in a bag. I would want my hands to be free if things go wrong. Be it to shield my eyes or to protect my head…my body’s instinctive mode to protect my safety will override me telling my hands to hang on to the plastic shopping bag. I may loose all my important items while trying to get away from the water canons! Now that would be a bummer.
This link is probably one of the most comprehensive one. What interests me is the phone numbers provided in case one gets arrested during the rally. This is probably one of the most valuable lesson to learn in all of this. It sends a message of ‘if things go wrong…do this’. Well…in life things do go wrong. That is why many people prep. Just like saving up money and buying an insurance policy. No one wants bad things to happen but they do happen. So, it is good to have a number (or a insurance card for that matter) to call when you do get in a fix.
Lesson: always have a plan. This is not applicable just for the Bersih rally. It is applicable in many aspects of our daily lives. My friends fail to understand (initially) when I tell them to inform their family when to expect them back from a hunting trip. Some think I am paranoid for having them forward a detailed plan of our hunting trip to their spouses. They also think I am crazy for doing all this when all we are doing is going for a walk in the bush 30 minutes drive from home.
It all boils down to ‘what if…‘. I would rather have my family know when to expect me to be back so that they can raise the alarm if I don’t turn up. I would rather have a spare set of my glasses in my go bag with me than having to go blind. And I would definitely like to have a number to call to in case I get arrested.
I will be back in Malaysia in a few weeks time and by then, I hope to get back to enjoying my teh tarik and roti canai with my Malaysian friends. In the mean time, I have a Bersih rally to monitor and learn from.